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Mental Health Association in Niagara County seeks to expand services for youth amidst national children's mental health crisis


Wed, Mar 20th 2024 04:40 pm

Will hold event to raise funding 

Submitted by the Mental Health Association in Niagara County

Across the U.S., the mental health of youth and teens is at a crisis level, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children's Hospital Association declaring a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health.

The demand for psychological services for youth are at all-time highs. One-third of teen boys and 57% of teen girls express persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and despair; 22% of teens say they have contemplated suicide, as well as 41% of LGBTQIA+ youth.

Responding to this need, the Mental Health Association in Niagara County (MHA) offers its unique program called “The Couch,” a free, safe, fun space for tweens and teens to hang out – and build hope. Plans are to add additional services, and the youth themselves are crafting a vision for the future. Since the youth know their needs the best, the MHA will incorporate their input into the evidence-based programming it will create.

And as the need for funding continues to grow, the MHA is holding a fundraiser to help meet their increased demand for services.

Youth at ‘The Couch Program at MHA

The MHA will hold a meat raffle on Saturday, March 23, at St. Johnsburg Firehall, 7165 Ward Road, North Tonawanda. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. with the first draw at 6:30 p.m.

Money raised at the meat raffle is just a part of the solution. The MHA is developing a plan that will enable it to serve the Niagara County community at the level it requires. It will work with partner organizations across the region such as Mental Health Advocates of WNY, who last week unveiled its teen chat line, a new communication tool for Mental Health Advocates’ youth professionals to provide emotional support to Western New York teenagers struggling with mental health concerns.

The community is asked to help support the mental health of our youth and teens by participating in, or donating, to our meat raffle on Saturday.

For more information, visit Mental Health Association Niagara County | Mental Health Support & Advocacy (mhanc.com) or contact Executive Director Dan Colpoys at 716-433-3780, ext. 310, or [email protected].

The Mental Health Association in Niagara County provides programming and services for those living with a mental health diagnosis, and their families.

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